Although it is often thought to be very old, nationalism did not become a great determining factor in history until the end of the 18th century. Nationalism, while it refers to loyalty and devotion to a nation, tends to imply the placing of that nation above others, a tendency that is not necessarily implicit in patriotism. However, the two words are not synonymous. Nationalism, ideology based on the idea that the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state surpass other individual or group interests.

Most often, this sense of superiority has its roots in a shared ethnicity. Nationalism is a political system that places your country above every other in the scale of the world. Nationalism and patriotism are similar insofar as both words emphasize strong feelings for one’s country. Nationalism is a system created by people who believe their nation is superior to all others.